SBD/18/Franchises

COMSAT REAFFIRMS INTEREST IN NORDIQUES

     Comsat Video Enterprises, owner of the NBA Nuggets, "likely
will know by mid-May whether it will have a chance to acquire"
the Nordiques and move them to Denver, according to Saturday's
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS.  Last week, Quebec Premier Jacques Parizeau
appointed an attorney to review the team's finances and report
back on the "feasibility" of financing a new facility for the
team.  Nords spokesperson Jean Martineau says team President
Marcel Aubut "has written approval" to sell or move the team if
the government will not help.  Martineau: "The people who own
this company won't go bankrupt just because hockey is a big thing
here."  The Nordiques have suggested the government raise funds
to cover a new $125M arena and pay off the team's debt until the
facility can be built through a new lottery or casino.  Aubut met
with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman last week to discuss the
negotiations between the team and province.  Bettman "reportedly
told Aubut he would not assist the Nordiques' bid to secure
financing unless he was asked to get involved."  The team's lease
at Quebec's Colisee expires July 15 (Curtis Eichelberger, ROCKY
MOUNTAIN NEWS, 4/15).
     ROCKY ROAD BACK TO DENVER:  In Sunday's BOSTON GLOBE, Kevin
Paul Dupont speculates that the Islanders may be the next team to
be sold, and possibly move.  Dupont also mentions a possible
Devils move to Denver -- the city they abandoned for NJ in '82.
Dupont writes, "Wouldn't the hockey landscape play better if the
Isles bolted for, say, Phoenix and the Devils hit the road for
Denver?  It all would be so much easier if the Board of Governors
stopped worrying about lost expansion fees and encouraged some of
these weak sisters to do the right thing and move to better
buildings in better markets" (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/16).
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